Irv Lee – Higherplane Aviation Training ltd
Mentoring the Private Pilot flying in the UK, EASA/NPPL
Testing, Renewals & Validations, PPL Masterclasses, Radio Training
& Testing, South African Vacation & Licensing advice, Consultancy
and much more besides . . . . .
Welcome to Irv Lee's Frequently Asked (EASA) QuestionsAll
answers, unless detailed otherwise in the answer (Q&A
Last Updated: Sept 1st, 2016) assume the pilot posing the question:
- is a General Aviation ('GA') pilot, licence issued by the UK CAA.
- flies "S.E.P" (Land based) aircraft (the replacement / successor to
the old 'Group A').
- has a UK issued PPL with SEP(land) rating, [b]with no extra ratings or privileges, unless
- flies 'EASA' aircraft (that is, aircraft with an EASA ARC (these
include all the normal rental aircraft), or an EASA Permit (not all that
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Disclaimer: These answers have no legal
authority and could be superceded or become wrong or redundant at any
time. Use these answers only as a base starting point for checking with
the relevant authorities. Note that with the many changes brought in by the new 2016 ANO and EASA NCO in August 2016, these answers are currently being checked for detailed accuracy.
For much more detailed information on the combinations of
licences/ratings/medicals see the item on the menu on the left for these
The EASA Qs and the EASA
- What can I do in EASA aircraft with my current licence, and, When do I need to change my licence for an EASA
Well, it depends what you have now, see the table below.... but first, make sure you know what is meant by an EASA aircraft. EASA aircraft are the ones with EASA maintenance documentation, either an EASA Certificate of Airworthiness and ARC, or an EASA Permit. All common types used by training and rental organisations (Cessnas, Pipers, Cirrus, Grumman etc) are amongst the many EASA aircraft types.
|What You Can or Can't Do |
(in EASA Aircraft)
||This is the full ICAO PPL under EASA FCL for flying EASA SEP Aircraft or UK non-EASA SEP aircraft, as long as it is accompanied by a valid SEP rating and Easa Class Two or One Medical Certificate. It can be used to fly UK microlights providing the pilot has "microlight differences training" signed off in the log book, but the hours gained in microlights do not count to SEP rating revalidation. Since the ANO change in August 2016, it can be used to fly UK registered non-EASA aircraft up to 5700kg maum in UK airspace with no more that 4 people on board, using a LAPL medical certificate or a UK declaration of medical fitness. NB: To fly EASA aircraft, an EASA Class Two or One medical must be held.
||This is recognised legally as the same as an EASA PPL so see above for general scope, but there are more factors to consider on top. Remember, a JAA PPL has a five year expiry date, so the last will expire sometime in 2017. You can apply anytime for an EASA PPL, but you can also wait until you are within sixty days of that expiry before applying for an EASA PPL (using CAA form 1104). If 'licence reprint' is needed on your JAA PPL by the CAA (e.g. a change of address, or a new rating to be added) at anytime before the 5 year expiry, you will be forced to apply for an EASA PPL at that time. NB: you are required to apply for an EASA PPL right now if you have a UK IMC rating in your JAA PPL which you wish to use in an EASA aircraft, as it needs to be listed as an EASA I/R(R) now.|
The use of a JAA PPL with a LAPL or UK declaration of medical fitness in the same way as the EASA PPL can be, i.e. only in non-EASA aircraft and remaining in UK Airspace. If flying EASA aircraft, a full class two or class one medical is needed. See above.
|LAPL(A) with SEP Privileges
||This is the sub-ICAO leisure licence, valid in EASA aircraft in all EASA States plus any other country that issues exemptions to recognise it subject to any conditions they wish to add (eg: Jersey). It usually requires an EASA medical at any level, normally the LAPL medical, and is kept valid through 'rolling validity', see below. Limitations include a Max AUM of 2 metric tonnes, a maximum of 4 people on board, and VFR only. It is also valid in suitable UK non-EASA aircraft, but technically, if it is used to fly a non-EASA aircraft outside of UK airspace, as it is a non-ICAO licence, permission from the foreign authority is needed to use it in any State (even an EASA one). (This permission could be 'blanket'or individual). It can be used to fly UK microlights providing the pilot has "microlight differences training" signed off in the log book, but the hours gained in microlights do not count to the rolling validity for the LAPL. Due to the changes in the UK regarding medicals, it can be used with a UK declaration of medical fitness if flying non-EASA aircraft, but pilots using this medical should stay in UK airspace unless specific permission has been granted to fly elsewhere, and obviously, the limitations of the LAPL (2000kg MAUM) apply.
|UK Pre-JAA PPL (Old CAA PPL) with SEP rating and full EASA Class Two or One Medical
||For EASA aircraft (which include most Cessnas, most Pipers, Grumman, Cirrus, etc) this is valid with limited privileges up to and including April 7th 2018 BUT after that date, not valid in EASA aircraft at all (as the rules stand now). Ratings and medicals must be kept valid as always in the normal SEP way (not using LAPL validity rules), BUT the privileges are reduced from full PPL to 'LAPL-like'. What does that mean? Well for example, you and your G reg EASA aircraft are confined to single engine, max 2 metric tonnes AUM, no IMC flying, no more than 4 people on board, and flight only in EASA States (or others which have issued exemptions to allow the LAPL to be used under certain conditions - eg: Jersey). It can be used to fly UK microlights providing the pilot has "microlight differences training" signed off in the log book. Note: with the new 2016 ANO, providing you have a pre-JAA PPL, the hours can count towards its SEP rating revalidation if they are in 3-axis microlights - this is not true for SEP ratings in EASA licences.
|UK Pre-JAA PPL (Old CAA PPL) with SEP rating and UK Medical Declaration or LAPL medical
||For EASA aircraft (which include most Cessnas, most Pipers, Grumman, Cirrus, etc) this is valid with limited privileges up to and including April 7th 2018 BUT after that date, not valid in EASA aircraft at all (as the rules stand now). NB: Whilst using this combination, the privileges are reduced from full PPL-SEP privileges to 'NPPL-SSEA'. What does that mean? Well for example, you are confined to G reg single engine, max 2 metric tonnes AUM, no IMC flying, no instructing, no more than 4 people on board, no night, and flight only in the UK (or others which have issued exemptions to allow the NPPL to be used under certain conditions - eg: Jersey). It can be used to fly UK microlights providing the pilot has "microlight differences training" signed off in the log book. Note: with the new 2016 ANO, providing you have a pre-JAA PPL, the hours can count towards its SEP rating revalidation if they are in 3-axis microlights. For flying non-EASA aircraft, the muam limit for this licence/medical combination is 5700kg, and max 4 pob still applies. However, IMC ratings if present can be used.
|UK Pre-JAA PPL (Old CAA PPL) with SSEA rating
NPPL with SSEA Rating
|For EASA aircraft (which include most Cessnas, most Pipers, Grumman, Cirrus, etc) this is valid with limited privileges up to and including April 7th 2018 BUT after that date, not valid in EASA aircraft at all (as the rules stand now). NB: Whilst using this combination, the privileges are reduced from full PPL-SEP to 'LAPL'. What does that mean? Well for example, you are confined to G reg single engine piston, max 2 metric tonnes AUM, no IMC flying, no more than 4 people on board, and flight only in the UK (or others which have issued exemptions to allow the NPPL to be used under certain conditions - eg: Jersey). This combination does not allow microlight flying via differences training alone, a microlight rating would be needed in the
licence, as NPPL ratings do not overlap for example, SSEA cannot be used for microlights.
- As a private pilot, should I apply for a LAPL
(Light Aircraft Pilot Licence) or an EASA PPL, and what is the
If you have a JAA PPL, you effectively have an
EASA PPL now (see above) and don't need to worry, when it is due for renewal,
just apply for an EASA licence instead
using the expiring licence. If you
have a UK-issued non-JAA full PPL, you could apply for either the LAPL
or the EASA PPL now. It is expect most full PPL holders would want to
maintain full world-wide ICAO privileges by having a full EASA PPL, but
it does depend on your expected flying 'lifestyle' and future plans. If
you can only envisage flying light EASA-maintained aircraft (2
metric tonnes or under) with a maximum of 4 people on board, in the UK or other EASA countries,
(and non-EASA aircraft within the UK), a LAPL might well be for you, but
it not recognised outside the EASA states. If this suits you, you might also benefit from a LAPL as LAPL medicals
are needed less frequently than full EASA medicals as you get older. Note a LAPL would not automatically be
recognised in non-EASA states, which include the Channel Islands, but the Channel Islands realise they want LAPL-ers to
visit, so they have issued an (expiring, but renewable) exemption to allow this with certain conditions.
The form needed for most conversions is the CAA form
1104 available from this list of forms. (If you are downgrading to
a PPL or LAPL from a commercial licence, the form is the 1190, not the 1104. For normal conversions, ignore form
1105 which is the application after doing a course from scratch.)
See also the information in the next answer, (converting from an NPPL), as many of the points for filling in the form
are the same whether you start with a PPL or an NPPL.
The conversion from any
sort of licence to a LAPL is to be valid on the particular aircraft
category you want to fly (eg: SSEA, Helicopter, etc) and have an EASA LAPL medical (or a
full EASA medical or even a current JAR Medical) and apply for the LAPL licence itself, by filling in
a form and paying a fee. You should also check you have a valid English
Proficiency too before applying. Note the rules for a LAPL gained from a course from scratch say
that you must do 10 hours p1 after you get the licence, before you can take passengers. This
is not so for conversion from other licences (ie: NPPL-SSEA to LAPL(A)) as, even though FCL
say this 10 hours is needed, the conversion process written by the CAA and accepted by EASA
(making it legal) included the statement that the 10 hours p1 needed for taking passengers after LAPL issue can be credited from flying on the previous licence prior to conversion.
The conversion from a 'full' UK PPL to
a full EASA PPL is already defined - you need 70 hours total time, and
proof of some radio navigation training in the past, plus the English Proficiency, plust an EASA Class One or Two
medical (or a current JAA Medical).
- I have a current NPPL-SSEA - how do I get a
Firstly, all CAA flight licensing forms are here, you need an 1104.
- Get a LAPL medical. (See the question on that below) If you happen to have a full EASA or JAA medical
that is OK, both are allowed instead of a LAPL medical.
- Check you have a valid English Level proficiency. (You can phone
the CAA to check this, they will need your licence or reference
number). If you have no level or expired, have an English language
assessment with a UK examiner and get an 1199 form signed up. See the
question on this further down.
- Get form 1104, NOT 1105 (which is designed for new issues
following a full LAPL course). One confusing bit to avoid is ticking
the box at the bottom of page two unless you know what it means and
really want one - most pilots do NOT want another National licence for
non-EASA types, (you'd only need that ticked if flying non-EASA
aircraft that are type rated and not part of the SEP/SSEA class
- that's rare - and they charge extra for a new issue for something
you don't want!). Remember to tick the box saying post is ok in
section 12 if you don't want a courier charge. You will need to send a
certified copy of your rating page and medical (an ATO or a Registered
Facility in the 2012-18 transition can certify that). If you have ever
done night, tugging, mountains, aeros, it might be worth asking for
such an EASA rating, if you do it now, you only need to prove it with
log book entries (also need to be sent), if you do it later, you might
need tests to such extras added, that remains to be seen.
- How do I get a LAPL medical?
medical issued either by an AME or your GP but only if your GP wants to
be part of the scheme. It used to be publicised that the GP would have
to inform the CAA before doing any, but the way they have designed the
online system the GP can just do the first one like any other and the
system just copes. For LAPL medicals see EASA LAPL Medical
- Can I get a LAPL medical and use it with an NPPL or
Older PPL as an EASA licence?
A LAPL medical (or a higher level EASA medical) can be used with an NPPL (licence) instead of a UK medical declaration, but it confers NO extra privileges, it is merely a substitute medical. It is quite common to have this EASA LAPL medical certificate with an NPPL-SSEA, as you may wish to apply for a LAPL (licence) before 2018 and this cannot be issued with just a UK medical declaration.
Here is a table explaining validity of different
licences, ratings and medicals: Paperwork Combinations
- How do I get an English Language assessment so that
I can apply for an EASA licence?
There have been pilots I
know who have already got an English Language assessment at the
permanent level (6) without knowing it, so maybe contacting the CAA with
your CAA reference number and asking what your level is would save some
time and effort. Otherwise, you can get a language assessment from a
radio test, a flight test, or a ground assessment with Flight Examiner -
see English Assessments
- How do I find the EASA documents which make the
rules for private flying?
It's incredibly confusing. Here's a
table with my description of the sort of information you get in each. It is important
to read the last one (CAA interpretation of the rules) even if you have read the black and white 'EASA FCL' as
this is subject to the influence of 'Accetable Means of Compliance' and 'Bridging Agreements'. Just for example, to
illustrate how confusing things can get, you will find it quite clearly stated in EASA FCL that the holder of a LAPL cannot take passengers after
licence issue until 10 hours solo Pilot in Command time has been completed post LAPL issue. Quite clear? No!
If you have a LAPL issued
as a conversion from another licence, the UK conversion document (accepted by EASA and therefore legal) say
these 10 hours before taking passengers post LAPL issue can be credited from previous flying on the previous licence. Anyway,
with that idea in mind, here are the documents:
||This is the core of the rules regulating all
EASA licences and ratings. For example, you could read up on the
privileges of (different sorts of) the LAPL, or LAPL validity
rules, revalidation rules for SEP ratings, or definitions of
terms, just for example, what 'aerobatic flight' means. It is not
the whole story though. Separate documents such as 'Conversion
Reports' would tell you how to get a specific licence from an old
licence, AMC documents would perhaps give a list of what actual
features on an aircraft require differences training. training
||"EASA FCL Acceptable Means of Compliance and
||This is where much more of the detail lies.
It usually cross references to EASA FCL above. SO, for example,
FCL above talks about needing differences training for
complexities. It doesn't name the complexities. This document
does. I assume this is so they can change this document if we got
a new 'complexity' without having to put FCL through the whole law
making process for one change. |
Interpretation of Rules
||"CAP 804" - the replacement for
||Remember LASORS?? (all the licensing
questions answered IF you knew what the question was!) CAP804 is
the CAA's view of the rules, for national licences and rules and
EASA licences and rules. |
- Can I fly UK microlights on an EASA licence (eg:
Yes, our Air Navigation Order is the
place that allows UK Annex 2 aircraft (non-EASA aircraft) to be flown by
'foreign' licences OR any EASA licence providing it has 'SEP' privileges
and if the pilot wants to fly microlights, they are specifically
mentioned as coming under the scope providing the pilot
has undergone microlight differences training for microlights.
- For a revalidation by experience (for SEP(land)
and/or TMG ratings) has anything changed under EASA?
nothing has changed for NPPL ratings (such as SSEA, Microlight or SLMG)
except they can be revalidated to the end of the month 2 years ahead
instead of the same date two years ahead. For SEP or TMG, the main
flying requirements (12 hours, etc) have only changed in one respect.
Under JAR, the training hour with the instructor within the 12 hours was
not needed if the pilot had done any other flight test, for example, an
I/R, FI, MEP, 747, or IMC test or renewal. Under EASA, the test that
could do away with the instructor hour must be for an aircraft type
or class rating, however exemptions have been issued to allow the UK to count other tests to replace the hour with instructor in the 12 hour requirement. A test for an IMC (IR(R) rating), an I/R, or an FI rating will also replace the need for a training hour in the other requirements.
When you ask for your revalidation on any
rating, it is now revalidated to an 'end of the month' date - e.g. an
SEP revalidation by experience requested for a SEP (land) rating
expiring on 9/9/2013 would be revalidated to 30/09/2015.
As far as
who can sign the SEP/TMG rating for revalidation (which still must be
before it expires, but now can be anytime in the final 12 months or the
rating once the flying aspects are completed), it's best to see a flight
examiner, but there are some interim arrangements through the LAA to use
their CRI coaches in certain circumstances, check with them if you can't
see a flight examiner for some reason.
Forms: For a revalidation by
experience for SEP(land) or TMG, once you have completed the
requirements, print page 1 of form SRG1157 and fill in section 1 and take it to your
examiner with your licence, (including ratings page), log book, EASA/JAA
Class 1 or 2 medical (an NPPL or LAPL medical is no good to revalidate
an SEP or TMG rating). Section one is filled in like this (for an
SEP(land) revalidation for a fictitous person and reference, apologies
to anyone with that name or number.) :
- Have I paid too much for my licence conversion to
an EASA licence?
(NB: It appears that in the first few months
(i.e.: from Sept 2012), some CAA staff charged some pilots too much for conversion to an EASA licence
(either a LAPL or a PPL) - the problem, which seemed to revolve around the difference between the cost of
a conversion and the cost of a brand new issue of a licence following a full course, has been resolved. However,
it also appears that due to confusions built-in to the CAA fee calculator, pilots have also
been offering to pay too much money is some cases, and usually, but not always, the overpayment
has been picked up
If you have asked the
CAA to issue an EASA LAPL or EASA PPL simply on the basis of an existing
licence, and you didn't want much else, (maybe just a language form
processed, maybe just a radio licence in it, both free), then:
The original overcharging, often
more than £90 too much, sometimes more, appears to be the result of some
staff confusing the cost of issuing (say) a LAPL after a full flight
course, which would involve the CAA with all sorts of check actions, and
the cost of issuing a LAPL on the basis of a pilot having another
licence, ie: a conversion. ALSO Some overcharging has happened
because of radio licences too. Always remember a radio licence for a
person with a pilot licence is free, any fee you may see is meant only
to apply to people who do not have a pilot licence of any sort.
- if it was from an NPPL-SSEA to LAPL conversion, the usual fee is just over £40, so if you paid £50 or
more (unless you asked for a courier to a foreign address when it
might just exceed that), then it is likely that you have been
- if it was from a PPL to either EASA PPL or EASA LAPL, then if you
paid £80 or more, it is likely you have been overcharged. (The exact
sum depends on whether what you started with was a JAA PPL or not, and
whether you wanted a courier service)
of this overcharging comes about as there are also issues with the CAA
fees calculator, in using terms that would confuse. Here are two
examples for pilots converting which would lead them to believe they
have more to pay than they really do, both in answer to the question
"What are you applying for":
- if you are converting, you ONLY select the option that you are
converting - you do NOT select the actual licence you want (ie: if you
want an EASA LAPL on conversion, you do NOT select "EASA LAPL(A) etc" within the calculator, or this will add
in the price of a licence to be issued after a full course.
This is confusing, especially for pilots going from an
old PPL to a LAPL, as they will need to select 'conversion to a
licence at the same level' even though they are downgrading
their licence to a lower level!
- Radio Licences. Pilots with a radio licence on their old pilot
licence will also be keen to have it on their new licence, and such
things are both free and automatic without being asked for, but radio
licences are there in the list to select, but you are supposed to
ignore them if you are a pilot converting a pilot licence. If you had
a radio licence, and you do NOT ask for one, you will get one with
your EASA licence, and it's free - but if you ask for a radio licence
(as mostly everyone would!), you get charged for it, as you are
supposed to know somehow that the radio licence option there is NOT
meant to be selected by pilots, as the charge only applies to people
who have no pilot's licence but want a radio licence!
If you think
you have been overcharged, contact the CAA with the details, if they
disagree you are welcome to email me with details for an opinion.
- I live in the UK and operate an 'N' reg aircraft based here, with an FAA licence
(and FAA instrument rating). I also fly G registered aircraft purely on my FAA licence for private flights - Does EASA licensing effect me?
Amazingly, for both cases, yes.
Flying 'G' registered aircraft: Originally the legality to fly UK registered
aircraft on a 'foreign' licence (eg: FAA licence) was to end,/b> on 7th April 2014 for 'EASA' aircraft (eg: C172, PA28, Cirrus
etc), and either an EASA licence or
a formal validation of the foreign licence would be needed after that, but in fact, the date then slipped two years to 2016, and NOW it has slipped another year to 7th April 2017. There is a lot of confusion as many pilots with such licences think the date is the same as for UK licence (2018) - it isn't!
Flying N reg aircraft, operated by a pilot based in the EU:
It was originally expected from April 8th 2014
that there will be a requirement to hold an EASA licence and rating, assuming
your aircraft would be 'EASA maintained' if it were registered in an EASA country - that is, even if it were 'N' registered
and flown on an FAA licence, by being operated in the EU, it would require the pilot to have an EASA licence perhaps in
addition to the FAA ones held. The date has now slipped three times by a year each time, and is now April 8th 2017. (the latest change to 2017 was announced on the very last day possible.) There is
talk that for FAA licences, there may be an EASA/FAA agreement by then which will change everything in this area. If there
is no EASA/FAA agreement by then, there will no doubt be arguments about technicalities
to do with whether the aircraft is really based or operated in the EU, which may be the underlying reason why the rule
has been given yet another extension.
but if it's a simple case of you being resident in the EU with an 'N' reg
resident here, you will need EASA licence/rating combinations equivalent to the privileges you are using from the FAA ones. (NB: this
question applies equaly to foreign licences and aircraft registrations from outside the EASA countries, it is not uniquely FAA and 'N' reg.)
- What is happening about the UK IMC Rating?
You can now only use an IMC rating in non-EASA aircraft to the limit that the aircraft certification allows. For EASA purposes, the UK has invented
an I/R(R) (instrument rating restricted) for EASA licences, and this is exactly the same as an IMC rating, except it
is allowed to be placed in an EASA licence. If you have,
or have had, an IMC rating (or if you have a UK non-JAA Commercial Licence with embedded IMC privileges) then it is in your interests to convert to a full EASA licence (not a LAPL) so that the IMC will be will be entered as an I/R(R) on your EASA licence, either as a current rating, or on the back of it as an expired rating.
At the EASA meeting in October 2013, it was agreed to permit this I/R(R) scheme to continue for 5 years after April 2014, so pilots can qualify for an I/R(R) in that timeframe.
It is important to have an IR(R) actually entered into your licence for IMC
rating privileges in EASA aircraft. You use your IMC rating to get an IR(R) by a paperwork process, and would mean a conversion to an EASA licence at the same time. Once you have the EASA licence and the IR(R) you can fly EASA
aircraft with exactly the same privileges as you could with an IMC rating.
- How do I keep my LAPL(A) valid?
There's HUGE confusion about LAPLs by pilots who have them! I have even had 4 pilots on the same day approach me for LAPL
rating revalidation signatures or concerned they didn't have a 'rating expiry date', which demonstrates they really don't
understand what they have 'bought'. Unless you have some extra ratings, like Night, Aeros, etc, you will have quite a few
blank pages where ratings and expiry dates would be expected. The LAPL does
not work with aircraft ratings in the normal sense. If you look under privileges on page 4 of your licence, you will probably see SEP(land) listed,
or maybe TMG, which
shows you what sort of aircraft you can fly. However, SEP or TMG will NOT appear with an expiry date anywhere as a rating.
There is no specific rating
expiry date to work towards, instead YOU are responsible for
sorting out your own validity before EVERY flight. Before a flight, you must convince YOURSELF that you have logged the
2 yearly requirements in the 24 months before each flight, on aircraft you are entitled to fly. The requirements are:
Note the 'AND' - which means unlike other schemes, you need 13 hours, of which 12 are p1, and one is pu/t. You check this yourself, you never need go to an examiner
for a 'revalidation signature', there is nothing to sign. You are flying on the PRIVILEGES of a LAPL, not an aircraft
class or type rating within it, so you have no rating to revalidate. Note 90 day rules still apply for taking passengers.
- 12 hours P1 in the 24 months before any flight including 12 take offs and landings AND
- One hour's training with an EASA instructor in the 24 months before any flight
So what happens if you find you do not have the 12 hours P1 and the hour's training in the 24 months before your intended
flight? If you haven't got this, do NOT go flying. If you are missing is the hour's training, go and see a suitable instructor
and have the training hour, then when you next fly yourself, again check back and make sure you meet the criteria
on that date too. If you are short on P1, or the take offs and landings, go to a flying club (an ATO) and they will treat you like a solo student until
you have built up the P1 hours to 12 in the previous 24 months. Obviously this may involve them checking you out as they
will probably not be happy to just sign out out as a solo student on their 'responsibility' if they don't know you at all. (There is nothing in the regulations that says the instructor who signs you out for solo time (who stays on the ground) has to be part of an ATO, but due to the liability issues, you may find it difficult to find an instructor outside an insured club who would take the risk.)
The rules do say you can
have a Proficiency Check flight with an examiner, but until they are clarified, EASA made a huge mistake in not saying how
long such as proficiency check 'lasts' - i.e. how long it can be used to 'override' the 13 hours requirement? They also forgot to specify the content of the proficiency check. A recent EASA meeting decided to correct this situation by saying a LAPL proficiency check over-rides rolling validity for 2 years, but this has not yet been formally introduced or publicised via the normal channels.
- I have a foreign (non EU, not EASA state) PPL and wish to convert to an EASA licence. Can I do it?
You could well have major problems if you want an EASA PPL. Our UK CAA say that EASA will not let them convert a foreign PPL at all unless the pilot has 100 hours total flight time and the licence is fully valid for flight in the 'home' country. So if you have an SA, or Oz, or FAA PPL, everything in it needs to be valid before the CAA will convert it - your foreign SEP rating or privileges must be valid, and you must have the foreign medical current too.
Reading what EASA FCL says about foreign PPL conversion indicates that, clearly, this interpreation is NOT what EASA originally intended, but it is the way it is being applied. EASA FCL does NOT say ratings and medicals need to be valid to convert, this is a later interpretation. The training requirement to convert is not insignificant, indicating that there was never any initial assumption when the rules were being formed that the licence needed to be valid to convert. However, the CAA are currently refusing applications from foreign licence holders who do not have 100 hours, or do not have a fully valid foreign licences, including rating and medical. EASA have a new catch phrase: "simpler, lighter, better regulations for GA" - I'm afraid this example of gold plating clearly shows EASA are simply not in the game of understanding GA, if they had any intention of sorting out the mess they have made, they would not impose this Draconian interpretation of the English words in FCL to mean something that was never intended for foreign licence conversions.
Advice - get an NPPL-SSEA, (apply to the LAA), and then convert to an EASA LAPL.
- I'm an instructor but still only have a pre JAR licence. Is this OK?
It depends. Annex ii (non EASA aircraft) YES, EASA aircraft NO. Since April 2014 you have only been able to use any Instructor privileges (eg: FI, CRI, etc) in non-EASA aircraft
so not even biennial training hour for someone is allowed now in an EASA aircraft (C152, PA28, etc etc) if you are an instructor and only have a UK pre JAR licence. This is because the pre-JAR UK
licence was confined to 'LAPL-style privileges' only for EASA aircraft. As a LAPL cannot contain any instructor ratings, so any in an old
UK licence are not valid for any instruction in EASA aircraft.